DA Beeson takes over
Thursday was Colleen Truden’s last day as district attorney in the 9th Judicial District.Today is Martin Beeson’s first. After being sworn in by Chief Judge T. Peter Craven in a Glenwood Springs courtroom this morning, the former deputy district attorney will head downstairs to his new office. “Deputy” will no longer be attached to his job title.”It’s a big responsibility, and I’d be remiss if I wasn’t nervous,” said Beeson, who worked under Truden. “I’m nervous, and I think it’s a good sign because I care about doing a good job.”Beeson won office in the Dec. 13 election in which Truden became the state’s first district attorney to be recalled from office.He said he will convene a staff meeting to brief those under him on his expectations, of them and himself. It may have to be a short meeting: A district court docket must be handled today in Glenwood Springs and in Aspen on Monday. A jury trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in Glenwood.
Beeson said he and other staff will likely work through the weekend.”We’ve got a lot of files to look at [and] a lot of administrative things to get squared away,” he said.Beeson said he didn’t know if he’ll ask for continuances as he transitions into office.”I have not had the opportunity to look at those files,” he said.He did say Truden has been cooperative and professional.
“She’s responded to the letter she asked me to write with regard to the items that I needed … once I get in,” Beeson said. “She’s assured me that they’ve been working on [those items]. They’ve been putting the materials together for me so I’ll get access to them when I get access to the office.”It’s appreciated.”Beeson has been talking with several district attorneys on the Western Slope. He said at the end of each conversation he asked, “Am I in over my head?””And they all say, ‘Yes. But relax, because we were, too, and it doesn’t matter what level of experience you bring to this particular job. When you first get in, everybody’s in over their head.'”They also told him that he has the right “constitution and the moral compass to do this job and do it well,” he said.
Beeson will handle felony cases, but not right away. Managing the transition will get most of his attention.”I’ve been counseled by those in the know … to stop thinking like a prosecutor and start thinking like a DA, an administrator,” he said.Beeson has been told not to expect to be in the courtroom for a year; in a July interview, Truden said she was told the same thing. The new district attorney said that may be hard for him.”To be honest, I don’t know if I can do that. It’s in my blood,” Beeson said. “If we got a county or district court prosecutor out sick or on vacation, yeah, I’ll look for the opportunity to get back into court. That’s the part of the job I love, the trial work.”Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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